Deep purple-black in color, the 2008 Grange puts forward a very complex nose packed with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon with nuances of minced meat, anise, potpourri and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, taut and very spicy in the mouth, it shows touches of sandalwood and Chinese five spice complementing the layers of dark fruit flavors. It is framed by firm, grainy tannins and a refreshing acid line before finishing very long with aniseed and lingering blackberry preserves notes. This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label. Drink it from 2018 to 2035+. (LPB)
An utterly majestic Shiraz, sleek and seamless, brimming with ripeness on a framework that allows for grace and expressiveness in equal measure. The intensity of fresh blueberry and plum fruit holds attention until the nuances kick in, offering glints of exotic spice, coffee, cocoa, bay leaf and mint. Shows tremendous presence without a lot of weight, the tannins present but not even close to getting in the way. A great wine now, with plenty of room to grow. Drink now through 2040.
(made from 98% shiraz and 2% cabernet sauvignon, from fruit grown in vineyards in the Barossa Valley, the Magill Estate Vineyard and the Clare Valley; raised in 100% new American oak): Inky purple. Intensely perfumed, expressive aromas of dark berry preserves, bitter chocolate, fruitcake and smoked meat, with a spicy topnote. Sweet, palate-staining blackberry, vanilla and dark chocolate flavors are sharpened and lifted by juicy acidity and show superb delineation and back-end power. Supple tannins come on late and give grip to a sweet, impressively persistent finish with grace notes of floral pastille and allspice. While this wine will no doubt age with ease, I find it almost shockingly approachable now. (JR)
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1986 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial Rioja (Pre-Arrival, Elsewhere $700)